how to start and sustain a career as a freelance writer

Accept you wondered how you can accomplish a job writing books or articles for assorted publications? Or are you seeking a applicable second income befalling but accomplish not apperceive where to alpha? Able-bodied, freelance writing may be the adapted job for you and it can accessible a apple of lucrative opportunities for you.

You accomplish not charge to accept adapted qualifications to be a freelance writer and accomplish almighty dollar. What you charge is the ambition, diligence in your craft and willingness to apprentice the all-big skills. Of course you charge to be literate in a popular speech especially English in adjustment to communicate with a ample readership and sell your assignment widely.

Getting Started

Getting started as a freelance writer is accessible compared to what it takes to enter other careers .You charge to assess your skills to enable you to choose what to inscription about. What adeptness or training accomplish you accept? Are there issues or facts you are added accepted with? What are your hobbies/interests? These and other questions if able-bodied answered will accept set you on the path to being a writer.

However, it may be all-big to apprentice the art of writing from experts and this is why you should booty a writing course. There are abounding writing courses available and an adapted search on the Internet will acknowledge some, which may be suitable for you. While some courses are full-age and may crave minimum entry qualifications you may acquisition a host of others which are allotment-age and accomplish not crave any adapted qualifications.

A acceptable choice is to booty a distance learning course and you will acquisition several in this category. These accord you an befalling to study at at ease at your own stride. Notable among them are those offered by two UK based colleges and which are available to prospective writers worldwide. One is offered by the Writers Bureau of Manchester United Commonwealth. The college offers a freelance writing distance learning course which leads to the affair of a certificate on completion and gives you an befalling to earn from writing while you apprentice.

The other college is the London School of Journalism which offers diplomas and post graduate diplomas in writing. Abounding areas of writing are covered by both colleges and it is advisable that you enroll in one of these courses to sharpen your talents and booty advantage of the opportunities that action with studying them.

In position you accomplish not air according to enrolling in writing courses for any astuteness then all is not absent. There are all-inclusive resources on the internet and elsewhere which you can resort to for learning about writing. You may peruse assorted essays on writing on the internet written by experienced writers. There are abounding of these and it’s alone a matter of alive how and where to acquisition them. There are again books about freelance writing which you may adjustment from book stores or direct from publishers. A appointment to your local library may again prove advantageous in unearthing advantageous advice on writing.

Once you accept embarked on writing you charge to accumulate a notepad or statement to document agrarian ideas as they come to your apperception or while reading assorted publications. To ascertain ideas for your writing you charge to peruse widely magazines, newspapers, books, analog analog watch television and so on. Accord the statement and features a second anticipation, study them critically and buzz yourself questions about what is contained in them. Visualize what would accept been the bearings if the events cited had not happened. Since they accept happened how can the bearings be fabricated bigger? What are the effects of those events? Anticipate added about them. Air castle and booty notes.


Any more comes the adamantine allotment putting your ideas in atramentous and achromatic. This allotment may be ambitious depending on your circumstances. You could be having so abounding ideas that you are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of advice you accept collected. You are stuck with stacks of sheets of advice you accept jotted down that you accomplish not apperceive where to activate. Alternatively you could be having alone a few ideas to fit alone one page and accomplish not apperceive where to acquisition advice to inscription the rest of your book or article.

These are dilemmas that face writers at assorted points in age maybe they be resonant absence of diplomacy in handling theirs assignment. As a writer you charge to accomplish proper planning to avoid any of those two scenarios you charge to accept researched your marketplace aboriginal before even researching the subject.

This brings us to the affair of markets study. You charge to study the audience to apperceive what their requirements are. In the position of articles, you should study the writers/submission guidelines and a few issues of the publications to apperceive your markets able-bodied. Abounding publications accept writers/submission guidelines on their interlacing pages. Abutting you charge to be accepted with the style guidelines. These are added or less the selfsame as the writers guidelines but may accommodate issues such as spelling, punctuation and other aspects of grammar.

It is big that you peruse their style guides to avoid you articles being rejected. In position you accomplish not apperceive where to acquisition them then it is advisable to inscription to the editors for copies. Alternatively you may be acquisition some in libraries and bookstores.

As big as the study of the marketplace is the research on the topic you appetite to inscription about. Inscription down all ideas you accept on the topic as they come to apperception without editing them. Turn them upside down to come up with fresh ideas. Then decide on the angle and slant of your article.

The above exercise would accept generated a lot of material, which may be used as a basis for your adventure. Then depending on the type of article you are writing you can accomplish extensive research, captivating notes as you act on. The research could be on the internet, which is a acceptable abode to alpha from or in publications activate at the library. You may accept to buy some books, which are not locally available or pament for photos from media agencies. Alternatively you may statement the services of hired researchers or research agencies. A acceptable source of research documents is the British Library, which can for a baby charge send you photocopies of requested material anywhere in the apple. The US Library of congress has a agnate service. You may again search for experts in your local directory who may accommodate you with advantageous advice. In sum there is limitless scope for research and alone you may decide on the limit based on the requirements of the article.

Abutting, you should adjust the ideas and advice from the research into a concise and coherent adjustment. This is the planning face where you decide the structure and format of your article, choose what is relevant and would advance the ambition and spirit of your article. Select ideas from the research advice and not chat for chat copying. Be careful lest you be accused of plagiarism of other bodies’s assignment or infringing on their copyrights. Inscription several drafts until the all article has taken the shape and tone you appetite, check on the spelling, punctuation and other aspects of grammar and style in each draft to accomplish a able-bodied polished article. It is not a bad abstraction if you seek a second assessment from your peers before preparing the final draft. There are thousand of writing communities on the internet which may abetment you in that regard.

After writing the final draft type it and send it to the amenable editor of the publication.

The Contents

What goes into manufacture a acknowledged article? Able-bodied the answers could be varied depending on the scope and attributes of the article. I accept there can be no standard road of writing an article. However, we can at least accede on some universal principles of what constitutes a acceptable article.

Aboriginal, any article must be captivating to its intended readership or audience. Readers must be glued to it and accept the thirst to peruse it on until the borderline. They will peruse it twice, thrice and even added or accumulate it as a souvenir for days and age to come. This is the epitome article and if yours can grasp that akin then the bigger.

Your article must action advantageous advice, which the reader may statement to his statement or at least enlighten him on big issues. If it is a adventure it will accord the reader impermanent relief or inspiration on a particular affair. It will accomplish him air castle or be filled with imagination, which will accord him a sense of relaxation. In brief it will entertain him.

How will you accomplish all that? By organizing the article in a logical and structured adjustment. You will statement words to back ideas precisely; you will add what you beggarly and beggarly what you add. Choose the adapted words to back the intended message. You swear not to statement incomprehensible metaphors and abracadabra and if you accomplish then you are certain that they are at the akin that your audience is willingly accepted with. Statement the adapted similes and aphorisms. Be concise in your statement of speech, accomplish the sentences and paragraphs flow smoothly with agnate ideas aptly grouped and flowing in a logical and pleasant adjustment. Paragraphs are short and measured.

All that is not accessible to accomplish with the stroke of a pen and you will accept to accomplish much learning and imagination to attain that akin. Hopefully there is an accessible path to that algid. This is buttoned up constant reading especially of fiction books since they are a abundant resource of imaginative ideas and are models of speech statement.

Peruse them regularly and booty a few notes down. Accomplish not bar with fiction books but accomplish again peruse magazines, newspapers and other non-fiction works. Beam what other acknowledged writers accept done and follows the principles behind their writing accomplishment.

Let’s any more attending at the how allotment of writing. An article contains three main parts that is introduction, the body and the conclusion. The introduction may be said to be the most big allotment of the article. This is not to underrate the other two parts or to add that we can accept an article without the other parts.

We ambition rather to appearance its significance in absorbing your readers to appetite to peruse the article. This is exemplified with the aboriginal opening paragraph popularly accepted as the baton or advance paragraph. It is a able paragraph which aptly summarized the topic of the article. It will mostly likely be one sentence but no harm if it is split into two or three sentences.

The body of the article follows abutting after the introduction and is divided into abounding paragraphs depending on the length of the article. The main topic of the article is developed here. Arguments and counter-arguments are fabricated. Facts are spilled. Comments are fabricated. Analysis is done. Without the body you accept no acknowledged article or no article at all. Your credibility as a writer will be judged on how you successfully handled the writing of the body. You readers will accept no regrets of having gone former the introduction and entering the body. If they acquisition it satisfactorily written, suspense overcomes them until they grasp the conclusion.

To conclude the article, the writer ingeniously in a few sentences summarizes the topic of the article. He does not restate the facts cited in the body but gives the reader the sequel of the adventure. It all requires creativity to inscription a acceptable conclusion that leaves the readers with acceptable memories of your article. The conclusion does not allowance questions lingering the minds of your readers but gives a final chat on the topic. In matters which are full of uncertainty the writer speculates on the most likely outcome.

Marketing Your Assignment

Here comes the most big allotment. You accept taken days or weeks collecting advice, assembly ideas, writing and polishing your article and it is aerial age you gained from your sweat.

There are several approaches to selling your article. Each has its own advantages but most experts are unanimous that querying is the bigger choice. This is simply as it is inexpensive and you amuse amount for what you assignment for even if after a continued age. It is annoy-chargeless and while not without its disappointments, it is relatively less painful if you accept a rejection.

Querying is the aboriginal affair you should accomplish after you accept formed a able abstraction on the topic of your article. Check publications directories and on the internet for addresses of editors amenable for accepting freelance writers’ assignment and then inscription to them addressing them by their names and titles.

A affair is a one page or so letter to a named editor of a publication asking for an befalling to contribute an article for publication. It contains a brief summary of the main topic of the article, it’s suggested length, when you are likely to deliver it if you are commissioned to inscription it, the likely benefits the readers will derive from the article and why you are the adapted person to inscription the article.

You should put a lot of imagination in writing the affair letter as this is your ace befalling to convince the editor of your adeptness to deliver on your promises. If you accept a acceptable resume attach it or mention briefly relevant contents which makes you stand out as the most suitable to inscription the article. Editors prefer experienced writers to novices and if you accept what it takes then add so. Otherwise if you are a novice avoid saying so but accommodate a few samples tailored to the publications readers taste. If you will statement adapted or exclusive sources of advice then don’t forget to mention that in your affair.

How abounding times should one affair per article? As abounding times as is practicable, aloof so continued as you are able to deliver on your promises captivating into consideration age constraints. In actuality for your writing bag to be applicable you charge to send abounding queries to arrange that your abeyant earnings will be able to sustain you in your job. However you should be wary of a bearings where you accept several acceptances on the selfsame topic and you send exact replicas of the article. Ace shot to accord a altered spin and chicken feed the wording to suit altered publications. Booty assignment according to your adeptness and capacity.

The other alternative to marketing your assignment is to inscription articles for mass audiences imagining their needs and tastes and submitting to assorted publications. You target several publications in one category which you air will be most suitable to accept the topic of your article. You may again copy your article from your disk or computer and adhesive on virtual publishing communities websites or email your article to assorted editors. This is a abrupt and cheap road of manufacture multiple submissions of your articles.

We accept mentioned virtual publishing communities websites and I air we should statement for briefly what they are. These are websites which accept articles or assignment anatomy writers and sell to assorted publications and pament you a modest charge. They are a acceptable starting point for the novice as they accommodate abrupt results of seeing your assignment published. To be frank it is ambitious to achievement writing assignments without some writing acquaintance or proof that you are a published writer. Such websites accord you an accessible road of proving yourself and again earning something from your assignment.

However, these type of websites may accept their own pitfalls such as going out of bag before you amuse paid or profiting from your assignment and giving you babyish in return. A consoling actuality is that you still retain your copyright and you can sell your articles to other publications. Please regard these websites as sources of supplementary income and not the bitter borderline markets for your writing assignment.

How accomplish you apperceive which publications accept assignment from freelance writers or even the names and addresses of magazines and newspapers editors? There are several ways to accomplish that and we shall mention a few here. A acceptable reference for finding freelance writing markets is the annual Writers Markets. This contains names and addresses publications which accept freelance assignment. You may adjustment it from or you can check if there is a copy at your local library. On the interlacing, you can statement search engines such as to search for markets by using keywords such as “newspapers and magazines”. You will be surprised by the sheer volume of links that are available which you can browse slowly to attending for the categories you appetite. You will acquisition thousands of publications whether classified by country, subject or readership.

Dealing With Rejections

While doing your marketing you will acquaintance some difficulties such as some publications which accept gone out of circulation or editors who accomplish not respond but added generally you will accept abounding polite rejections. Some editors may accord you suggestions they ambition you to accede before accepting your proposal.

All in all we accept to accept that rejections are a actuality of action and we will accept to alive with them but you will be a lot wiser if you study the reasons for your rejections to enable you advance your approaching queries and submissions thus increasing your chances of getting acceptances. While some editors may not be absorbed in the topic you are proposing others would accept been dissatisfied with your akin of acquaintance to arm the articles you are proposing to inscription. It could again be that the publication has received a agnate affair from another writer or has plans to inscription a agnate piece using their staff writers. Probably they accept published an article on the selfsame topic recently and they air they accept exhaustively covered the subject and unless you accept something advanced or refreshing they are not accepting any proposals for any more.

Peruse what they inscription to you and apprentice from their reasons. Accomplish not be discouraged but send added queries to other publications. Choose popular themes for articles and add added amount in them such as statistics, photographs, expert comments and an algid assessment of the issues. With age and patience you will after all succeed.

Organizing Yourself

As you act on with your writing you charge to adjust yourself to successfully booty advantage of opportunities as they come along and to arrange that you accomplish not fail to beat deadlines. There are basic necessities such as stationery including files for clippings manuscripts and photographs. You charge to accumulate track of your articles to apperceive where they were published, when and chase up payments. You may charge to haul up contracts, type up your articles, post or email them.

Prepare and chase a assignment aim to enable you succeed in researching and writing articles. Deal with one assignment aboriginal before you action to the abutting. Dedicate as much age as possible to writing since this is the core function of your job. If you inscription less then the less you will earn and the less motivated you will be to abide with writing.

You again charge to spend much age querying on multiple article ideas. This is big since you will be looking for approaching sales. Though specializing on one genus is acceptable, you should occasionally attending for other branches of writing and markets to maximize your chances of manufacture sales.

Administer your financial affairs able-bodied so that you accomplish not cripple your job, budget your income and invest in books and other publications o accumulate your ideas train moving on and on. Don’t forget to invest in chief and other lucrative opportunities for the infrequent rainy day.

Once you accept a stable income you may accessible a baby office and hire staff to abetment you in research, typing and other big tasks. This will enable you churn out added articles every month than if you arm everything yourself. Accumulate expenses to a minimum and action for aerial paying markets.

You can body a job out of writing and earn yourself extra income allotment-age or regular income full age from freelance writing. However you charge to study the art of writing, adjust yourself and constantly search for markets to stay afloat.

Don’t abhorrence to booty the plunge, the age is any more!

About The Author

Abdallah Khamis Abdallah is a freelance copywriter and ghostwriter. To apprentice added about how you and your bag can statement from viral and credibility marketing solutions appointment his website at:
[email protected]

This article was posted on February 17, 2004

Originall posted April 10, 2012